russia: US provides $ 350 million in emergency military aid to Ukraine as NATO opens money and arms spigot


WASHINGTON: The Biden administration on Saturday authorised emergency military assistance of $ 350 million to Ukraine as NATO powers began funneling money and arms to the besieged country fighting to stay out of Russia‘s grasp.
“Today, as Ukraine fights with courage and pride against Russia’s brutal and unprovoked assault, I have authorized, pursuant to a delegation by President, an unprecedented third Presidential Drawdown of up to $350 million for immediate support to Ukraine’s defense,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
Amid criticism from Ukraine’s leaders that the west is not doing enough, Blinken said the latest allocation brings the total security assistance United States has committed to Ukraine over the past year to more than $1 billion.
“The United States and Ukraine have been partners since Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union more than 30 years ago. After Russia invaded and partially occupied Ukraine in 2014, the United States intensified efforts to help Ukraine deter further Russian aggression, and, if needed, to defend itself from additional attacks,” Blinken said, as prospects of another long drawn war of attrition like the one in Afghanistan, costing billions on all sides, loomed over the world.
Blinken revealed the latest package would include “further lethal defensive assistance to help Ukraine address the armored, airborne, and other threats it is now facing.”
“It is another clear signal that the United States stands with the people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereign, courageous, and proud nation,” he said.
Pentagon had provided $60 million in immediate military assistance to Ukraine last fall as the present threat against Ukraine from Russia developed, and in December, as that threat materialized, a further drawdown worth $200 million was authorised.
Other nations too began stepping up. British defence secretary Ben Wallace held a virtual donor conference on Friday with more than 25 countries, including US and Canada and some countries outside NATO, coordinating their support to Ukraine. The Netherlands announced it will supply 200 air defence rockets to Ukraine “as quickly as possible.”





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